2lbsSt Louis ribsOR baby back ribs (pork loin back ribs), unseasoned (up to 6 lbs)
64ozapple juice1 bottle NOTE: You can halve this or even reduce to only 2 cups. I just like to use the full bottle so all the meat gets infused
1cupapple cider vinegar
1/2cupliquid smokeeither hickory or mesquite is fine
barbecue saucea few cups’ worth
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Take the ribs and coil them so they fit in the Instant Pot lined against the perimeter of the pot. A 6-quart should be able to handle up to 2 racks of ribs, while the 8-quart can handle 3 full racks. If you wish to cut each rack in half before inserting for easier removal once cooked, feel free to do so.
Add the apple juice, vinegar, and liquid smoke.
Secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position, and hit Manual or Pressure Cook on High Pressure for 30 minutes for 5–6 lbs/1.5–2 racks of ribs (25 minutes for 2–4 lbs/1 rack). If you want the ribs slightly firmer, go for only 23 minutes for 5–6 lbs/1.5–2 racks of ribs (18 minutes for 2–4 lbs/1 rack). However, I do recommend you go for the longer cooking time in order to achieve that super-tender, fall-off-the-bone bite. (NOTE: The pot may take about 20 minutes to come to pressure due to the amount of liquid inside. You aren’t doing anything wrong!)
When done, allow a 5-minute natural release followed by a quick release. (NOTE: If it splatters while releasing, you can throw a dish towel on top of the nozzle to absorb any splatter or allow a full natural release, meaning you never turn the release nozzle and let it release on its own until the pin drops.)
Since the ribs are going to be super tender, carefully remove them from the pot to a baking sheet lined with nonstick foil (bone side down). I use two sets of tongs to make this happen, but it’s okay if the rack splits in half when being moved—just try to be delicate. Discard the juices from the pot after the ribs are removed (or use it again if you immediately want to make more ribs!).
Using a basting brush, generously coat the tops of the ribs with the barbecue sauce. Slather it on real good so they’re pretty and saucy!
For optimal results, pop the sauced ribs on the foil-lined baking sheet in a preheated oven at 400°F, and cook for 10 minutes. The sauce will caramelize onto the ribs.
Remove the ribs from the oven, slice them up, grab lots of napkins, and enjoy!
Jeff’s Tips: If you have a grill, feel free to throw the sauced ribs on it to make them extra crispy instead of finishing in the oven. But be careful: these ribs are super tender and can easily come apart if handled roughly!